On average, Americans carry more than two bank-issued credit cards in their wallets. This number is growing as well, so we were interested to see which bank consumers’ choose, and which bank performs best in driving consumers down the credit card path-to-purchase. We found that while Chase wins for share of credit card applications, Citibank dominates the credit card path-to-purchase. Read on for our full data-driven analysis.
US Credit Card Market Share Analysis
To better understand the bank-issued credit card market within the US we analyzed new customer registrations and credit card applications on the websites of Chase, Wells Fargo, and Citibank. We found that while the bank with the highest share of traffic also has the highest share of credit card applications, the runner up in traffic market share isn’t the runner up for share of card applications.
Chase leads the pack for both traffic and credit card applications, accounting for 44 percent of the traffic and 53 percent of the credit card applications across banks. Wells Fargo comes in second for traffic with nearly a third of the visitors to all three banks, but has the lowest share of credit card applications. Citibank, on the other hand, has the smallest share of traffic, but accounts for 35 percent of the credit card applications across banks. Citibank’s share of credit card applications is nearly triple that of Wells Fargo, while its share of traffic is 27 percent lower.
This finding suggests that there is more to the story than traffic and application volumes can explain. While top and end of funnel volumes can shed light on the competitive landscape, only a path-to-purchase analysis can pinpoint weaknesses in the credit card conversion funnel and explain why Wells Fargo lags behind the competition in regards to new credit card applications.
Credit card path-to-purchase analysis
We investigated consumers’ path to credit card application on Chase, Wells Fargo and Citibank and found that while Chase leads for share of applications, it does not have the most efficient funnel among the lot. Citibank’s customers are the most inclined to apply for a bank-issued credit card, with an application rate that is 50 percent higher than the average across banks, and nearly 6 times that of Wells Fargo. Citibank also outpaces the two other banks for new account registrations by more than double. The bank’s funnel does have one weakness, though, as it has the lowest login rate among the three, suggesting that there is room to improve on customer engagement and possibly retention.
Wells Fargo has the lowest credit card application rate, which is 74 percent lower than the average rate across banks. This extremely low application rate, compared to the competition, is most likely the reason that the bank is falling behind for share of credit card applications. If Wells Fargo could increase its credit card application rate to half of the average across banks with the rest of the conversion funnel unchanged, it would add 5 percentage points to the bank’s share of credit card applications. And, if Wells Fargo could bring its application rate up to the average across banks it would be neck-in-neck with Citibank for share of credit card applications.
|Bank||Registration Rate||Login Rate||Credit Card Application rate|
Bottom line: While a market share analysis can shed light on the competitive landscape, a click-by-click analysis of consumers’ path-to-purchase can explain the reasons for these market shares and pinpoint strengths and weaknesses in the conversion funnel. Our analysis of the US credit card market found that Chase dominates for market share while Citibank performs best in driving consumers through the credit card path-to-purchase.